Everything You Wanted To Know About Working With An Advertising Company (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)
For many people who have never stepped foot into a real-life advertising company, they often have a misconstrued image in their minds as to what goes on behind closed doors. On television and in the movies, advertising agencies are often portrayed as glamorous offices where there seems to be a lot more emphasis on socialising than actual work being done. Advertising agencies are some of the most disciplined, hardest working businesses around. At full-service agencies such as ADFX, it takes a whole lot of experience, skill, talent, and coordination to create and execute successful campaigns that meet and exceed their clients’ expectations.
What exactly is an advertising agency’s role?
Full-service advertising agencies are well-equipped to look after every single aspect of planning, creating, implementing and tracking advertising campaigns for their clients. While businesses are often able to handle parts of this process in-house, rarely are they able to take care of every element on their own. The role of an agency is to work within a company’s budget to create and execute an advertising and/or marketing strategy that is brand specific and meets that business’s needs and goals. Although this may sound straightforward, creating and executing a successful campaign can be a very complicated process with many moving parts. An advertising company will act as a partner to your business and work with you to ensure that your message is communicated to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. Sometimes companies may engage an agency’s help early on to assist in developing their brand’s identity right out of the gate. Alternatively, a company that already has a well-established brand might be looking for a brand refresh or just need assistance taking their business to the next level. A good advertising company will make it their job to gain an in-depth understanding of your company, your brand, and your goals in order to help your business grow.
What goes on behind the scenes at an advertising agency?
Although the world of advertising may seem like it’s all about designing logos and writing jingles, this is just a tiny part of what agencies do. A memorable and impactful piece of advertising involves hours and hours of research, strategy development, creative talent, technical expertise, and media buying in order to get it just right. In addition to the creative part (which is what people get to see or hear in the finished product), there is a huge technical element that goes into each item. Whether it’s a television spot, radio jingle or printed brochure, each piece requires a great deal of behind the scenes finessing before it’s released. One-stop-shop advertising agencies employ a team of educated, experienced and talented specialists who all work in tandem to create and deliver every element of your advertising strategy.
Can small or emerging companies also benefit from using an advertising agency?
As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Although many entrepreneurs know that marketing is a necessary element of growing their business, most don’t have the time, energy or even the skill set required to come up with a proper plan. This is where an advertising company can help. They will meet with you to discuss all your business goals and needs – and if you aren’t sure of what your goals and needs are, an agency can help you to establish them. An advertising agency can also offer a fresh, unbiased look at your current communication strategy and give professional advice on how it could be improved to create a more consistent brand image and more brand awareness for your company. They will also go over your budget and develop a clear scope of the work that can be done within it so there are no surprises after the fact. By partnering with an agency, they will create an expertly executed campaign customised to meet your business goals and reach your potential customers. This frees up your time to focus on what you’re good at – running your business!
What is a media strategy and how can an agency create one for me?
A media strategy does not just involve calling up your local newspaper and buying a spot in the next issue. A media department in an advertising company has in-depth knowledge of pricing, the best advertising platforms to meet your company’s business goals, and established industry relationships that give them the ability to make your advertising spend go a lot further than you could do on your own. The role of a media buyer is not only to purchase advertising space (on television, radio, websites or print), but to also schedule these placements effectively. An agency will carefully choose how, when, where and how frequently your potential customers will be able to see and hear your brand’s message and exactly what that message should be. By using an advertising agency to help with your media plan, you can speed up the time it takes to influence your target market’s purchasing decisions and ultimately increase your sales.
Is working with an advertising agency worth the money?
Full-service advertising agencies know the best way for your business to spend its marketing dollars – saving you both time and money. With creative, technical and strategic expertise on their side, and an eagle’s eye view as to what the most effective advertising strategies are, an agency can create advertising solutions that will give you the greatest return on your investment. While many business owners assume that working with an agency is very expensive, this often isn’t the case compared to trying to do everything on your own. Typically, working with an agency is a much more viable option for business owners than to invest in the infrastructure and experienced/ educated staff that would be necessary to meet their advertising needs in-house. However, know that one size doesn’t fit all. A good advertising company will sit with you to review (or help you create) your budget and come up with the best plan that fits within it. They may also give you a few different options to choose from, ranging from a comprehensive strategy that will include all the bells and whistles, to a few scaled back, more cost-effective options that may work better for your business at that time.
How do I choose the right advertising agency to help grow my business?
When choosing which advertising company to work with, it’s important to find the right fit. In order to do that, it’s best to meet with a few different agencies and ask a lot of questions to help determine which one will be the best partner for your business. Compatible communication styles are essential for a successful agency/ client relationship so it’s important to keep this in mind during these initial meetings.
Here are some key questions to ask when meeting with potential agencies:
- What services do you offer? How can these services help my business specifically?
- How will your agency have time for me? Who are your other clients? How will you make my business goals a priority?
- What are your fees and your fee structure? (There are a few different ways that agencies charge so it’s good to talk about this upfront)
- Who will be my main contact? Will I have one designated account manager who I can easily reach with any questions, concerns or requests throughout the process?
By asking these simple questions, and seeing examples of an agency’s work, you should be able to get a good feeling for which one will be the best fit for you.